Tokyo: Japan's Nikkei 225 edged lower in early trade Tuesday as a surge in Spanish borrowing costs kept investors away from riskier assets.
The Nikkei dipped 0.4 percent, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.3 percent in relatively thin trade.
Volume was at 37 percent of its full daily average for the past 90 days at the midday break.
Troubled chipmaker Renesas Electronic was the biggest loser on the main board, plummeting 12.7 percent after it said on Monday it will outsource its top-end chips to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
The shares have lost half of their value this month alone as the company has asked for help to get out of the red.
Panasonic Corp climbed 2 percent after the Nikkei business daily said it plans to cut 3,000-4,000 staff from its 7,000-strong workforce at its headquarters.
Sony Corp pared early gains to end down 0.1 percent by the midday break. It has lost 20 percent on the month after failing to convince investors that it can turn around its loss-making TV business.
The Nikkei capped its eighth week of losses last week, its worst run in 20 years, as worries about the slow recovery of the global economy have been exacerbated by negative developments in the euro zone crisis and a strong yen.
Investor sentiment was dealt another blow as Spanish 10-year bond yields jumped on Monday to their highest level since the European Central Bank injected cheap three-year loans into the banking system in November 2011.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 10:46